Regulatory

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program has worked with many Federal and state agencies to help provide technical information to resolve regulatory issues that have not been addressed for the wide-scale deployment of CCS technologies. This includes interacting with the following entities on issues related to CO2 storage and transport:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI's) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE)
  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)
  • Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC)
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program participated with EPA in the development of their December 2010 rulemaking that finalized minimum Federal requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for underground CO2 injection for the purpose of geologic storage. This final rule applies to owners or operators of wells that will be used to inject CO2 into the subsurface for the purpose of long-term storage. The elements of this rulemaking are based on the existing Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulatory framework. Under this framework, they have established a Class VI injection well permitting process that is specifically designed to regulate CO2 injection and storage to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). The regulation sets minimum technical criteria needed to obtain a Class VI permit including detailed geologic site characterization, an Area of Review (AoR) study, a corrective action plan, a financial responsibility study, well construction plans, and operation, mechanical integrity well testing (MIT), monitoring, well plugging, post-injection site care (PISC), and site closure plans.

The methodologies developed and data collected by the program also are providing support to BLM and BOEMRE as they determine the potential for Federal lands to play a role in developing onshore and offshore CCS opportunities. NETL's CO2 storage-related partnerships with these agencies include:

  • Participating in DOE/EPA's CCS Working Group
  • Participating in the preparation of several BLM reports to Congress
  • Assisting BOEMRE with developing rules for offshore CO2 injection
  • Examining the legal and regulatory framework for CO2 storage with the IOGCC
  • Examining state regulatory program data management for CO2 storage with the GWPC
Capital Building

On February 3, 2010, President Barack Obama sent a memorandum to the heads of 14 Executive Departments and Federal Agencies establishing an Interagency Task Force on CCS. On August 12, 2010, the Task Force delivered a series of recommendations to President Obama on overcoming the barriers to the widespread, cost-effective deployment of CCS within 10 years. The report concludes that CCS can play an important role in domestic GHG emissions reductions while preserving the option of using abundant domestic fossil energy resources. However, widespread, cost effective deployment of CCS will occur only if the technology is commercially available at economically competitive prices and supportive national policy frameworks are in place. DOE’s "Carbon Sequestration Program: Technology Program Plan" supports the findings of the CCS Task Force in establishing key areas for CCS that need to be addressed to help meet this goal.

Through the Task Force, the Carbon Sequestration Program Team has entered into collaborations with DOT, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to examine the regulatory framework for CO2 pipeline siting, operation, and tariffs. Additionally the Sequestration Program Team is a participant in the IOGCC's Pipeline Transportation Taskforce on CO2 pipelines.

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